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CoverShow - Squares for Sounds
is an online exhibition of contemporary album art, providing an interactive viewing and hearing experience made possible by this hyperlink-embellished online gallery space.
The concept for record album art is commonly credited to Alex Steinweiss, who worked for Columbia records starting the in the late 1930`s. The circular records, the casing for which had dictated the initial square template, have since been outdated by digital music files, but the square album cover tradition has not become any less popular.
The exhibition title, CoverShow, is a subtle reference to the Apple iTunes terminology: Cover Flow. Cover Flow describes an option now available in many Apple devices which allows users to scroll through a gallery-like archive of their album art.
Things such as Cover Flow, digital music stores, and vibrant-screened portable music playing devices all demonstrate and support a desire for and enjoyment of album art. In the ages of vinyl records and then of compact discs, album art commonly illustrated the LP (or long play) album. In the age of the mega pop single and the digital music file, album art has began to illustrate single songs rather than exclusively full albums.
For musicians, this allows for better opportunity to experiment with -and ultimately define- their public image. Thanks to improvements in personal computing technologies, many musicians write and record their own studio-quality music, and some even create their own equally accomplished visual accompaniment. Applications like Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator, along with many other programs, provide do-it-yourself artist musicians with many new exciting options previously only reserved for big budget musicians.
CoverShow: Squares for Sounds features four exhibitors from the Providence area who all make their own original music and album art. Some occasionally collaborate with other visual artists. Gripp is a rapper/producer/poet/computer-scientist currently living in Georgia who has been making his own music and album art since 2004. Jack McCrack is another rapper who began in 2005. Co.Z - short for Company ZoJa - is a hip-hop/pop collaborative formed in 2008. Alan M is a songwriter/producer who incorporates certain elements of electronic stylizations into many of his songs. To find out more about these musicians, or to download their music, please visit their respective websites (located on the contact page).
When viewing individual album art work pages, a song being illustrated will automatically play. To mute or stop the song, scroll down to the quicktime interface to the left of the information. To leave an individual album art work page, click the artwork.
To begin, choose whether you wish to view the albums as a whole, or by individual artist.
one of the albums -Gripp's "Aquarium"- is set to only 10-15% visibility and thus appears dark and faded in each of its duplications. Gripp has not yet released this album, and I thought that holding off that page of the exhibition by fading the visual was an interesting option (like leaving a certain painting conceiled behind a drape in a certain wing of a physicalspace gallery). Seeing as I can update the cyberspace gallery at anytime to display the album in its full glory, the fadded image could even act as an exciting incentive to have visitors return: "Oh my gosh guys I wonder if Gripp's new album art is up on Jack's CoverShow thingy! We should totally check all the time." - future fans of the website.
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